From 2012/01/09 to 2012/01/15

-- From Virginia Beach to Fayetteville




The road tracklog 
From Virginia Beach to Fayetteville
from 2012/01/09 to 2012/01/15

North Carolina

North Carolina was the second area colonized by the British called in memory of King Charles I, Carolus in Latin. It was the first to vote the independence from the crown but the last to make secession. After having been an agricultural area it became a significant financial center in Charlotte and a center of technology and medicine in Durham-Raleigh. Raleigh is the State Capital.

Outer Banks

In spite of a rainy weather then gloomy the remainder of the week I decided to visit Outer Banks, sandy ribbon of 100 miles long cut off from the mainland connected by bridges and ferries. It is a vacation resort very in fashion in summer.

Kill Devil Hills, Wright Brothers

The following day my visit in the early morning was to pay homage to Wright brothers who were the first to be flown with a glider then with a engine plane. The event took place on December 17, 1903 at Kill Devil Hills in Outer Banks, North Carolina, selected for the wind blowing  with force and regularity and for sand offering a soft landing.

Orville & Wilbur Wright

To conceive the profile of the wings as well as various components they invented the first wind tunnel in the world with a small balance to measure the effectiveness of profile. They manufactured also an engine and a propeller.

Wright's wind tunnel

Exhibition in Le Mans, France, 1909, 08

During several years they made demonstrations in the USA and in France. They founded Wright Company in 1909. But obsessed by obtaining patents and contracts, the model in duck plan did not evolve. The untimely typhoid death of Wilbur in 1912 and the sale of their company by Orville in 1915 put an end to this extraordinary adventure. 66 years later man walked on the moon. Technological time accelerates, planes of the future will be even more effective.

The afternoon was dedicated to the north of Outer Banks. I was very disappointed, up to Corolla the edge of the ocean is occupied by residences prohibiting an access to the sea except in some places, No trespassing, No parking any time, towering enforced, private property, etc. I thought of bivouacking at the seashore, I were satisfied with a parking in a street.

Roanoke Island, Fort Raleigh, The Lost Colony

Between mainland and Outer Banks the Roanoke Island was the theatre of a historic enigma if not a tragedy to the first British colony called  "The Lost Colony". In 1584 Sir Walter Raleigh obtained a charter from the Queen Elizabeth I to establish a colony in the New World. He dispatched two vessels. The reception by local population and environment were favorable to the establishment of future settlement. In 1585 Sir Raleigh dispatched seven ships with 600 men to occupy the territory for the crown of England. They left a hundred men of which John White who carried out several drawings and maps. But diseases brought by English decimated the local population, suspecting an attack the soldiers of Her Majesty killed the chief of Algonquians. The arrival of Sir Francis Drake made it possible to repatriate them in England. In 1587 the purpose of a new voyage was to establish a colony with men, women and children. But the local population remembered the treatment of the predecessors, the reception was mitigated. In 1590 when a new voyage arrived, there was no colonist in the fort. No survivor was found in the surrounding islands, thus the saga of the lost colony was born.

The Lost Colony

Drawings by John White

In the afternoon I moved towards Hatteras Island up to Rodanthe where a violating storm stopped me. The landscape in this narrow sand ribbon is desolate and without much interest only for surfers. I decided to head back.

The following day I stopped twelve kilometers further away at the foot of the bridge which connects Bodie Island in the north and to Hatteras Island in the south. I spent the day to prepare the trip to Miami.

On Friday January 13, lucky day, the sun had reappeared but with a violent wind, here it is an hurricane. Hwy #64 up to Rocky Mount twists through landscapes of farming with enclosures as in Europe. The remainder was without interest. Alas once again I stationed on the parking of Walmart, no wild camp where to put my truck to have overnight.


Raleigh was established in 1792 as state capital. It has three museums worthy of interest. North Carolina Museum of Art exhibits in two buildings of which the most recent has a parallelepipedic structure why make groove when a simple architecture is functional. Its collections cover art since the old Egyptian world up to our days. I noticed some masterpieces.

Ritual vessel (Kuduo), 19th century, Akan people, Ghana

The Forge of Vulcan by Tintoretto

Martin Luther & Philipp Melanchthon by Lucas Cranach the Younger

Flemish cabinet

The Kiss by Rodin

La France by Rodin

The painting by John George Brown representing poor children in New York in 1880 is put in prospect with a picture by Lewis Hine of children working in textile mills from 1908 to 1918.

A Tough Story by John George Brown

Smallest boys, as sweeper, doffer & spinner by Hine

North Carolina Museum of History tells the history of the state from the Indians to a recent date. The first floor is a lesson of history in particular for the Independence War and the Civil War without forgetting Ku Klux Klan, KKK, worth a detour. Opposite North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences shows one of the rare skeletons of a Cretaceous predator, an acrocanthosaurus.

Chapell Hill, Durham

Sundays museums open only at noon in North Carolina. Before going to Durham I made a detour by Chapell Hill of which Lonely Planet praised deserved, I did not see anything exceptional. Nasher Museum of Art in Durham at the university campus had only a room open to the public which exhibits a score of paintings and antiquities, that were not worth a detour return of more than 100 km. The architecture of the Duke University is neo-Gothic and Georgian style. Subscribed with the parking of Walmart I stopped in Fayetteville.

Head of a Women by Picasso

Shell, Phoenician or Cypriot, 7th century BC

Black Figure Stamnos, Athenian, 510 BC

Feast of Herod by Studio of Rubens

In New England by Bruce Crane

Duke University, Durham

Fayetteville, le 2012/01/15

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